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Prawns Balchao

Prawns Balchao is a fiery dish that finds its origins in Goa. Prawns are stir-fried first and then added to a pickled curry sauce to create a dish that makes your taste buds tingle and leaves you asking for more.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Goan, spicy, Tangy
Method Instant Pot, Stovetop
Diet Pescatarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 293
Author Anushree Shetty

Ingredients

  • 1 lb 4 cups cleaned and deveined, medium-sized prawns (or shrimp) [uncooked]
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 2 cups onion finely chopped
  • 2- 1/2 cups tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Water as needed

For the masala

Instructions

Stovetop method

  • Grind all the ingredients in the masala section (chilies, garlic, ginger, cloves, cumin and mustard seeds, cinnamon stick and vinegar) to a fine paste. Set aside.
  • In a deep dish pan kept over medium heat, add 1/4 cup oil and when it heats up, saute the prawns (or shrimp, if using) for a couple of minutes, till they change color. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the prawns out and to drain oil. Set the prawns aside. [ For best results, fry in batches so that the prawns are evenly sauteed].
  • In the same pan, add the remaining oil and fry onions till they are soft and translucent (in approximately 10 minutes). Add tomatoes to it and continue to fry them till the onion-tomato mixture has turned soft and mushy and oil starts to surface (in approximately 10-12 minutes).
  • Add the ground masala along with 1/2 cup of water and mix well. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes and then add prawns, sugar and mix well. Add water to adjust the consistency of the sauce to your liking. Cover the pan and let the shrimp simmer in the sauce for another 8-10 minutes till it is cooked completely.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.

Instant Pot method

  • Grind all the ingredients in the masala section (chilies, garlic, ginger, cloves, cumin and mustard seeds, cinnamon stick and vinegar) to a fine paste. Set aside.
  • Add 1/4 cup oil to the steel insert of the Instant Pot and press the Saute function. Press the Adjust button to move the selection to “Normal” and wait till the display reads “Hot.” and add prawns/shrimp.
  • Saute the prawns for a couple of minutes, till they change color. Use a slotted spoon to scoop the prawns out and to drain oil. Set the prawns aside. [ For best results, fry in batches so that the prawns are evenly sauteed].
  • Add the remaining oil and fry onions till they are soft and translucent (in approximately 10 minutes). Add tomatoes to it and continue to fry them till the onion-tomato mixture has turned soft and mushy and oil starts to surface (in approximately 10-12 minutes).
  • Add the ground masala along with 1/2 cup of water and mix well. Continue to cook for another 5-7 minutes and then add prawns, sugar and mix well. Add water to adjust the consistency of the sauce to your liking.
  •  Press “Warm / Cancel” button and then select “Pressure Cook.” Adjust the time to 4 minutes and set the pressure selection at low. Cover the Instant Pot lid and lock it. Make sure the vent is at sealing position.
  • Once the cooking cycle completes, the Instant Pot will switch to the Warm cycle. Press the Warm/Cancel button and carefully release pressure. Open the lid and let the steam escape.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with rice.

Notes

To get about 1 lb of cleaned, deveined prawns, you'll need to buy at least 2lbs of prawns.

Nutrition

Calories: 293kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Cholesterol: 191mg | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 311mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 525IU | Vitamin C: 16.7mg | Calcium: 147mg | Iron: 2.5mg